Photo: Rayneldy Rosario singles to drive in the only run for the Burlington Bees in Friday’s 4-1 loss to Quad Cities. (Steve Cirinna/Burlington Bees)
By John Bohnenkamp
It’s Baseball 101, Jack Howell said, and the Burlington Bees are learning some hard lessons lately.
Friday’s 4-1 loss to the Quad Cities River Bandits at Community Field was the latest example.
The River Bandits broke a ninth-inning tie with only one hit — a concoction of walks, soft ground balls that looked troublesome from the moment they were hit, and a sacrifice fly.
It was the fifth consecutive loss for the Bees (54-56 overall, 15-25 second half), who have fallen to their worst winning percentage of the season.
Asked if his team was frustrated, Howell, the Bees’ manager, said, “I mean frustration for the most part — we’re in these games, and we’re losing. I would say yes.”
The Bees led 6-0 in Thursday’s game, and lost 7-6. Four of their losses in this current stretch have been by three runs or less.
“The only game we won recently was 15-5 (on Sunday in Peoria), and that’s not realistic,” Howell said. “We’re giving up too much, and we’re not getting enough. That’s Baseball 101. The combo is not working in our favor right now.”
The other part of the education is the Bees aren’t keeping runners off base. Three of the runs in this game were from batters who had walked.
Hector Yan walked Michael Wielansky to lead off the game, and he scored.
In the ninth, reliever Greg Veliz (0-1) walked Freudis Nova and Grae Kessinger with one out. Alex Holderbach, who slammed a two-run home run in the ninth inning of Thursday’s game, didn’t need any power for the go-ahead run in this game, hitting a slow chopper down the third-base line for an infield single that scored Nova. Kessinger scored when Ramiro Rodriguez hit a ground ball to second, a fielder’s choice that led to a late throw to the plate by Adrian Rondon. A sacrifice fly by Oscar Campos ended the scoring.
“As good as Yan pitches, the only run he gives up? First hitter of the game was a walk,” Howell said. “And then Veliz gets the ground out and then walks two, and they both score. You put men on base…”
Burlington’s lone run came in the seventh. Ryan Vega doubled to lead off the inning and scored on Rayneldy Rosario’s single to tie the game.
Garrett Gayle (1-1) was the winning pitcher.